The Latest: SC county warns of potentially deadly flooding

Weather News

Volunteers rescue several families that arrived on small boats, from the rising waters of Hurricane Dorian, near the Causarina bridge in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. The storm’s punishing winds and muddy brown floodwaters devastated thousands of homes, crippled hospitals and trapped people in attics. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

FREEPORT, Bahamas (AP) — The Latest on Hurricane Dorian (all times local):

4:10 p.m.

Officials in South Carolina county are warning about the potential for life-threatening flooding from Hurricane Dorian.

A statement from Georgetown County says anyone who lives near the waterfront in the coastal town of Georgetown should evacuate.

The city of about 8,900 people is located on the coast north of Charleston. It’s situated along a bay and two rivers, the Great Pee Dee and the Sampit.

The county’s statement says the National Weather Service contacted officials there to warn about the combination of storm surge and high tide at Georgetown on Thursday afternoon.

Rising seas caused by the storm could add as much as 6 feet to normal high tide levels. The county says anyone who doesn’t leave may be putting themselves at risk.

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3:40 p.m.

Utilities say Hurricane Dorian could leave hundreds of thousands without electricity in the southeastern United States as it moves up the Atlantic Coast.

Duke Energy says the slow-moving storm could cause more than 700,000 power outages in eastern regions of North Carolina and South Carolina based on current predictions.

The utility says some outages could last for several days, and problems are expected as far as 100 miles (161 kilometers) inland.

Georgia Power says about 2,800 homes and businesses are without power in coastal areas of Georgia and several thousand utility customers are in the dark in northeast Florida.

It isn’t just electricity that’s being affected. Brunswick County in coastal North Carolina is shutting off water and sewer service in advance of Dorian.

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2:10 p.m.

Hurricane Dorian’s center is east of Jacksonville, Florida, as the storm moves parallel to the U.S. Atlantic coast.

By Wednesday afternoon, Dorian’s maximum sustained winds had decreased slightly to 105 mph (165 kph) but it remains a Category 2 hurricane.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Dorian is centered about 115 miles (185 kilometers) east of Jacksonville and is moving north-northwest near 9 mph (15 kph).

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

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1:35 p.m.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the United Nations is supporting rescue and relief efforts led by the Bahamas government and is part of assessment teams planning to deploy Wednesday to areas devastated by Hurricane Dorian .

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock was arriving in the Bahamas on Wednesday and is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Hubert Minnis in the capital, Nassau.

Dujarric said Guterres “remains deeply concerned for the tens of thousands of people affected in Grand Bahamas and Abaco” and sends condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the devastation.

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

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1:20 a.m.

Tales of survival are emerging in the Bahamas as evacuees from the Abaco Islands reach the capital in Nassau.

Londa Sawyer stepped off a helicopter with her two children and two dogs on Wednesday after being rescued from Marsh Harbor, where she says “it looks like a bomb hit.”

She says her home was completely flooded and that she and her family fled to a friend’s home where the water came up past the second floor, carrying them up to within a few feet of the ceiling. She said she and her children and the dogs were floating on a mattress for about half an hour until the water started receding.

Sawyer said there was some looting but she didn’t witness any violence.

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1:10 p.m.

Rain from the outermost bands of Hurricane Dorian have been pelting downtown Charleston, South Carolina, where shops normally bustling with tourists are boarded up along King Street. The historic city sits on a peninsula that already floods at high tides, and the city is expecting trouble as Dorian’s storm surge tops a 10 foot high tide on Thursday.

Hundreds of people in low-lying areas are evacuating to shelters ahead of the storm, supported by Red Cross volunteers.

U.S. Army veteran Mark Russell says he went to a shelter early to avoid the rush. He doesn’t want to experience what he lived through during Hurricane Hugo, which slammed into South Carolina’s coast in 1989, killing dozens of people and causing $6 billion in damage.

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12:45 p.m.

Pope Francis is urging prayers for victims of Hurricane Dorian , saying they’re suffering from the loss of their homes and their lives.

Francis made the appeal in brief remarks to journalists travelling aboard the papal plane to Mozambique on Wednesday at the start of a weeklong, three-nation visit to southern Africa.

Francis urged the journalists to pray for all those in the Bahamas, which suffered the most powerful storm in its history, with 185 mph (295 kph) winds and torrential rains that flooded homes, hospitals and airports and made roads impassable.

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

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12:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump is expressing some relief regarding Hurricane Dorian’s impact on Florida, saying “we got lucky in Florida.”

Still, his administration is bracing for significant amounts of rain and storm surge as the hurricane makes its way up the Atlantic coast.

Trump is meeting in the Oval Office with his chief of staff and leaders at the Department of Homeland Security to get the latest information about the hurricane.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds Wednesday remain near 105 mph (165 kph), making it a Category 2 hurricane.

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

Trump says the United States is providing humanitarian support to the Bahamas.

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12:15 p.m.

Residents of Georgia’s largest public beach are scrambling to fortify low-lying homes as Hurricane Dorian approaches.

Debbie and Tony Pagan stacked their beds and couches atop other furniture and covered their doors with plastic wrap and sandbags Wednesday morning before evacuating Tybee Island east of Savannah. Their home flooded during both Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Irma the following year, as did hundreds of other houses on the island.

Debbie Pagan says facing their third storm in four years is alarming because it’s still relatively early in the hurricane season.

The Category 2 hurricane is moving parallel to the U.S. East coast. At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

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12:15 p.m.

A beachgoer found a package of cocaine washed up on a Florida beach by Hurricane Dorian .

As the storm skirted Florida’s coastline Tuesday, the beachgoer found the package. Police say the package contained a kilogram of cocaine which is typically worth thousands of dollars on the street.

Melbourne city spokeswoman Cheryl Mall tells Florida Today the beachgoer spotted the cocaine while watching the rough surf Tuesday and told a nearby police officer.

The package was labeled “dinamitar,” which mean “dynamite” in Spanish. Police say the cocaine will be destroyed.

Authorities say there were reports of other bricks of cocaine possibly washing up on shore.

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12 p.m.

North Carolina emergency officials are reporting the first death in the state related to Hurricane Dorian .

Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday that an 85-year-old man from Columbus County died from injuries when he fell off a ladder as he was trying to prepare his home for the approaching storm. The state emergency operations center didn’t have the man’s name, but a spokesman said he died Monday at a hospital in nearby Fayetteville.

Cooper warned the public at a news conference about the threat of flash flooding, storm surge and more than a foot of rainfall as Dorian arrives Thursday along the southeastern coast. The governor already has ordered evacuations on the state’s fragile barrier islands.

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

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11:10 a.m.

Hurricane and storm surge warnings are being extended as Hurricane Dorian crawls up a path parallel to the U.S. East Coast.

A storm surge warning is now in effect from north of Port Canaveral, Florida, up to the North Carolina-Virginia border.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds Wednesday remain near 105 mph (165 kph), making it a Category 2 hurricane. Dorian is centered about 90 miles (140 kilometers) east-northeast of Daytona Beach, Florida, and is moving north-northwest near 9 mph (15 kph).

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

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10:25 a.m.

Florida’s busiest airport is re-opening after being closed for more than a day because Hurricane Dorian was skirting the state’s eastern coast.

Officials say Orlando International Airport was resuming commercial operations at noon Wednesday. Flights into and out of the airport were halted Tuesday morning in anticipation of the storm.

Meanwhile, Orlando’s theme parks were back to regular operating hours, for the most part.

Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort opened for a full day on Wednesday after having closed early Tuesday. SeaWorld Orlando was re-opening mid-morning Wednesday after being closed all day Tuesday.

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10:25 a.m.

South Carolina Department of Correction officials have decided not to evacuate a coastal prison that houses about 950 inmates, although Hurricane Dorian is projected to head toward the area by midweek.

The department tweeted Monday that staff and inmates at the Ridgeland Correctional Institution in the Jasper County evacuation zone will remain at the prison during the storm. Inmates with extra medical needs were evacuated.

The department says Ridgeland has enough supplies to last several weeks. The department says they believe Ridgeland is the safest place for staff and inmates. It says Ridgeland opened in 1995 and has never been evacuated.

The State newspaper reported an inmate previously died at Ridgeland in 2016 during Hurricane Matthew. Then-Gov. Nikki Haley said the death was “seemingly unrelated.”

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9:05 a.m.

The U.S. Navy has ordered ships based on Virginia’s coast to head out to sea to avoid Hurricane Dorian .

Navy spokeswoman Elizabeth Baker said by phone Wednesday that vessels docked at the world’s largest Navy base in Norfolk and other nearby installations are getting under way.

Vice Admiral Andrew Lewis said in a statement Tuesday that the ships will remain at sea until the threat from the storm subsides. Navy aircraft will either be secured in hangars or fly to more inland airfields.

The Navy’s order follows a similar one made by the U.S Air Force earlier Tuesday.

F-22 Raptor fighter jets and T-38 Talon training planes were ordered to leave Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia. They’re going to the Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base outside Columbus, Ohio.

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9:05 a.m.

Officials in Florida are expecting some beach erosion but say there have been no reports of major damage as Hurricane Dorian passed near Daytona Beach.

The National Weather Service reported a peak wind gust of 79 mph (127 kph) in New Smyrna Beach early Wednesday.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal said there were reports of seawater surging up the beach ramps in several locations. The newspaper said the Granada Bridge in Ormond Beach had reopened in both directions by 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said that as of 4 a.m., not a single 911 call had been reported.

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8:45 a.m.

Bahamian Parliament member Iram Lewis, who is in Grand Bahama, said rescue crews are preparing to go into the island’s eastern region for the first time since Hurricane Dorian hit.

He says he fears casualties in that area and said there are a lot of medical needs overall on the island. Lewis was driving and said he observed only one gas station open with a line of about half a mile forming.

He said the government was now pulling teams together to receive goods from abroad and was organizing distribution centers as teams began to launch search-and-rescue missions now that the weather has cleared.

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

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8:10 a.m.

Hurricane Dorian’s center is moving parallel to Florida’s northeastern coast as it churns north-northwestward in the Atlantic.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds Wednesday morning are near 105 mph (165 kph), making it a Category 2 storm.

Dorian is centered about 95 miles (155 kilometers) east-northeast of Daytona Beach, Florida, and is moving about 8 mph (13 kph).

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

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8:10 a.m.

Sea turtle nests along many of Florida’s beaches are in danger of being washed out to sea as Hurricane Dorian sideswipes the Atlantic Coast.

Conservation officials urge the public not to interfere by trying to rescue any stranded hatchlings or disturbing buried nests.

Volusia County’s seat turtle habitat conservation plan manager Jennifer Winters tell the Orlando Sentinel “there’s not a lot” that can be done. She says once eggs get pulled from the sand, “they’re not going to make it.”

She says on Friday 397 sea turtle nests were recorded on Volusia County beaches. Since Saturday, 40 nests were washed out and more are expected as Dorian passes by.

Canaveral National Seashore spokeswoman Laura Henning says before closing Saturday for the storm, 12,000 nests were counted.

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6:15 a.m.

While Hurricane Dorian moves closer to Florida, two other named storms are blowing in the Atlantic region.

Tropical Storm Fernand is in the Gulf of Mexico and closing in on the Northeast Mexican coast just south of the U.S. border, with top sustained winds near 50 mph (85 kmh) and higher gusts. The hurricane center says heavy rainfall of up to 18 inches (46 centimeters) could fall in places along Mexico’s Gulf Coast and the Sierra Madre Oriental, and could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides as the storm moves ashore Wednesday.

Tropical Storm Gabrielle, meanwhile, is far out in the Atlantic Ocean and poses no threat to land. It is expected to remain a tropical storm on a track far from North America.

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5:00 a.m.

Tropical storm conditions continue along portions of the northeastern coast of Florida as Dorian continues to make its slow trek toward the U.S.

The National Hurricane Center says the deadly storm was centered at 5 a.m. EDT Wednesday about 90 miles (144 kilometers) east of Daytona Beach, Florida. It has top sustained winds of 105 mph (168 kph) as a Category 2 hurricane. The storm is moving north northwest at 8 mph (12 kph), tracking offshore and nearly parallel to Florida’s Atlantic shoreline.

Some weakening is expected during the next couple of days but Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane.

The Miami-based weather center says a turn toward the north is forecast by Wednesday evening, followed by a turn toward the north-northeast on Thursday morning. The core of Dorian will move dangerously close to the Florida east coast and the Georgia coast through Wednesday night. The center of Dorian is forecast to move near or over the coast of South Carolina and North Carolina Thursday through Friday morning.

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1:30 a.m.

Hurricane Dorian’s eye is passing to the east of Cape Canaveral, Florida. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the deadly storm is now about 90 miles (144 kilometers) east northeast of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Maximum sustained winds are being clocked at 110 mph (175 kph). It’s moving to the north northwest at 7 mph (11 kph).

The Miami-based weather center says a turn toward the north is forecast by Wednesday evening, followed by a turn toward the north-northeast on Thursday morning. The core of Dorian will move dangerously close to the Florida east coast and the Georgia coast through Wednesday night. The center of Dorian is forecast to move near or over the coast of South Carolina and North Carolina Thursday through Friday morning. Earlier this week Dorian pummeled parts of the Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane, leaving widespread devastation and at least seven people dead.

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12 a.m.

Bahamians are rescuing victims of Hurricane Dorian with jet skis and a bulldozer as the U.S. Coast Guard, Britain’s Royal Navy and a handful of aid groups try to get food and medicine to survivors.

Airports are flooded and roads impassable after the most powerful storm to hit the Bahamas in recorded history parked over Abaco and Grand Bahama islands and pounded them with winds up to 185 mph (295 kph) and torrential rain before finally moving into open waters on a course toward Florida.

People on the U.S. coast are making final preparations for a storm with winds at a still-dangerous 110 mph (175 kph).

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

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WATCH LIVE: Tracking Hurricane Dorian

Watch live satellite tracking and forecasting of Hurricane Dorian as it heads toward the East Coast. https://nbcnews.to/2PgxtZR

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